Levels of deprivation in Clones and Ballybay are the highest in the county.
According to information provided to a special meeting of Oireachtas members and MEPs recently, the towns in County Monaghan are well below the national deprivation average.
According to figures provided at the meeting, the national average is 0.2 while the deprivation rate is -11 in Clones and -13 in Ballybay. Other factors making development of the area more difficult were also outlined.
Over 20 per cent of the residents of Clones and Ballybay were found to not have English as a first language.
It was stated that this presents major challenges for the council to deliver its services and ensure a fully inclusive society.
Levels of unemployment were also shown to be very high with the national average standing at 17 per cent. In Clones and Ballybay the figure is well above that at 28 per cent. Oireachtas members and MEPs expressed their dismay at the state of affairs in Clones and vowed to bear it in mind as they go forward.